SIMS depth profiling of thin nitride- and carbide-based films for hard coating

Michał Ćwil 1,2Piotr Konarski 1Witold Gulbiński 3Vladimir V. Uglov 4

1. Industrial Institute of Electronics (PIE), Dluga, Warszawa 00-241, Poland
2. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Physics, Koszykowa 75, Warszawa 00-662, Poland
3. Technical University of Koszalin, Raclawicka 15-17, Koszalin, Poland
4. Belarusian State University (BSU), F. Skaryna av. 4, Minsk 220050, Belarus


Many new materials have been developed for material coating films. Recent investigations show that Ti/Cr-nitride and Ti/Cr-carbide based complex layers provide corrosion-protection of metals and improve mechanical properties. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) technique has proven to be an essential tool for depth profiling of such thin coating films and offers high in-depth precision only if ultra-low impact energy is used for sputtering. However the quantitative depth profiling of such materials is not straightforward in presence of surface contaminations and matrix effects.

This is the case of multilayered TiN/CrN, CrC/CrN and CrC/CrN and TiC:Si, TiCrN films (10 nm - 3000 nm thickness range) created on steel substrates using various deposition methods like condensation from a plasma phase in nitrogen atmosphere, reactive magnetron sputtering and reactive arc deposition, respectively. Additionally TiC films were Si implanted.

The aim of this work is to perform distribution of elements in the films and to obtain chemical characterisation allowing description of nitridation and carbonisation mechanisms to monitor the coating production. In order to achieve a more precise quantification we have been monitored the multilayered films using ultra-low energy of primary ion beam (below 1 keV).

The measurements have been performed using SAJW-05 instrument with Ar ion beam of about 100 micrometers in diameter. Auger investigation of the structures provides additional information on quantitative distribution of main components. SIMS depth profiles of these films show higher oxygen contamination in the case of TiN layers than in CrN, while higher nitrogen concentration was recorded in CrN films. The silicon profile implanted into TiC layer indicates that the implantation range is about 600 nm. Results of depth profiles have been compared to process parameters of coating technology.


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Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006, Symposium A, by Michał Ćwil
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006

Submitted: 2006-05-15 09:43
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44